Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. 

brand logo

Am Fam Physician. 2016;94(9):online

See related article on epididymitis

What is epididymitis?

The epididymis is a tube attached to the back of the testicles that holds the sperm. If you have epididymitis, the epididymis is tender and swollen. Your scrotum may also be red and swollen, usually on one side, and it may hurt to urinate.

What causes it?

In adults, epididymitis is usually caused by bacterial infections. This could be a sexually transmitted infection or caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract.

What should I do if I think I have it?

You should see your doctor right away if you have pain or swelling in your scrotum. Your doctor can test your urine to see if you have an infection.

How is it treated?

Your doctor will decide the best type antibiotic for you depending on your age and other factors. Taking over-the-counter pain medicine or icing your scrotum may help with discomfort.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mayo Clinic

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Continue Reading

More in AFP

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.